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Poster: dead-head_Monte Date: Jan 30, 2010 11:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: taper confessions

Confessions by this Taper
sony-tc-2850sd.jpg

a) Once I decided to share my tapes, 2 years ago, I was excited to do so. I was using Samplitude s/w for my first time to do the transfers and remastering. It was ver 7.22. I purchased a Lexicon Alpha device and used it for the transfers to digitize and capture my tapes at 48Khz / 24-bit. I also remastered the shows in this hi-res mode. Pretty much, this stuff is standard. Anything less than this minimum is below par, and it will be frowned upon.

b) To date, all my tapes released are hack-jobs. The exception to this fact is the gd73-06-10 show remastered by Kevin Tobin. For this date's AUD, definitely use Kevin's composite AUD. He fixed all my flaws: poor or missing cross-fades on patches, lousy level matching on patches, no fade-ins, no fade-outs. Sure, I managed to kludge in a cross-fade here and there. But that was more luck than it was knowledge. I simply didn't know how to use Samplitude s/w in a work-flow sensible way my first times using it. But now that has finally changed. I just spent the past 5 days experimenting with a possible matrix for gd73-06-09. I'm actually using Samplitude for my first "real project" -- finally.

c) When I remastered my complete gd73-06-10 AUD, I was able to use Bill Gadsden's partial AUD plus the SBD for patch sources. Interestingly, Bill's release was just one month before mine - and, it was a Charlie Miller job. Kevin Tobin remastered a composite AUD for 6/10 after my release. Kevin was getting PMs that said the SBD must be off-speed. The AUDs matched up with each other, but the SBD and AUDs were off. Then Kevin pitch-corrected the SBD. I like to think that he left the pitch alone, and simply time-compressed or time-expanded the SBD, using resampling mode to match them. Then Kevin mastered a matrix for 6/10, and a DTS 5.1 surround sound.

d) About 18 months ago at LL, I commented to Hunter Seamons that he might consider doing a matrix for 6/9. I told him that Kevin had recently matrixed the 6/10 show. I said I had just circulated the 6/9 show. He said he would give it a listen. Nothing happened. That's why I'm trying it myself, to see if it will work. Point is, the 6/9 SBD and my 6/9 AUD speeds are way off. Big problem. There's a partial AUD for this to compare with. This source is a Nagra, but the location sucks. The taper is way back in the stands. It sounds like he was in the end zone. But I d/l Loose Lucy anyway, just to compare that tape speed with mine. This tape is yet a 3rd and different speed. Never mind this source, the speed is way off - it's worse than the SBD source differential. The SBD speed error slews over the span of the show for 6/9. I found that it's different for each track. I had to stretch the times a little bit for the 1st set. Then I had to start compressing the times during the 2nd set. This is a big problem.

e) The records in the database at db.eTree.org show that the transfers for both 6/9 and 6/10 were done by the same person using the same equipment. We know the SBDs were taped live on the same r-r audio tape recorder (ATR) in 1973. Perhaps there was some drift in the shore power source they used at RFK Stadium. Maybe the Dead's ATR had a small tape transport drifting error. But, you can't hear any once-around errors, any wobbling, any slewing, any wow and flutter, or any tape speed problems when you listen to the SBD. So, these are good SBDs. Their speeds don't match up with the battery-powered AUD tape sources.

f) I wanted to thank Charlie Miller for sharing his bar-setting remastering skills with all of us. I also wanted to thank Hunter Seamons for his matrixing skills. Charlie is very friendly and will usually get right back to you if you e-mail him with a question. What Hunter isn't telling you is that a Matrix Project is actually 5 projects in one. These are the original AUD and SBD sources, the repatched and reworked-for-matrix AUD and SBD sources, and the matrixed outcome. Then there are the final mixing decisions: how much AUD level; and how much SBD level?

g) I repatched everything for my 6/9 tapes: all my AUD tracks fade-in and fade-out seamlessly now. I matched levels for each track with the SBD. I found that mixing the AUD levels to minus 1.5 db down from the SBD levels resulted in the best sounding matrix outcome. At this point, the speed difference is the critical factor. If the AUD and SBD speeds don't match perfectly, it's not right. I've tried matching them, but the sound starts getting "thick" in places. Sometimes it starts reverberating. I'm trying different resampling techniques to resolve the errors perfectly. I've tried 2 matrixing attempts for 6/9 these past days without achieving perfection. I may try 1 more time. Experimenting with levels while using mis-matched speeds will get you in BIG trouble. I thought about it, but who wants to get flamed for being stupid? I decided to write these notes up, and post them for you. I am sorry I did not patch, edit, match, and remaster my tapes perfectly for you when I circulated them - that's about 16 shows. I am slightly embarrassed, but I can live with it now that I've fessed up here. Today, I can do this process correctly now. And, I recently purchased a Nakamichi LX-3 cassette deck as a backup to my Nak 550.

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Jan 31, 2010 10:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: taper confessions

As a kid, I used to tape Casey Kasem's Top 40 countdown with a monoaural desktop casette player/recorder with the built-in mic.

I once got mad at my brother for coming in the room and talking while I was trying to capture that perfect "Disco Duck". Man, I was pissed the rest of the week.

TOOTMO

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Poster: Jim F Date: Mar 7, 2010 10:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: taper confessions

First off, great info there, Monte, thank you for sharing.

Secondly, Back in the day before we had a VCR we used to use a tape deck with a built in mic to record movies and tv shows. Wow that was pointless...

I remember the first time we bought a little stereo with a built in cassette deck. We were recording off the radio and thought you had to be quiet or else you would get recorded haha. Those were the days.

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Poster: high flow Date: Feb 1, 2010 9:49am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: taper confessions

I used to tape the NY beats from KPOO in Oakland. 2 hours on Sunday afternoons in about 1983. The first rap I'd ever heard. It was completely new and exciting.

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Poster: stealyourwife Date: Mar 7, 2010 1:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: taper confessions

That's how we used to dub tapes back in the day! huhhh...those interupts sucked but i wish i could go back and listen to some of em now. especially the tapes we used to make with someone unwittingly being recorded...priceless

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Poster: high flow Date: Mar 7, 2010 2:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: taper confessions

Yes, the lost "fart tapes" would be most amusing.